No joke? Providing “mirth” insufficient to support property tax exemption for fraternal group

"Mirth is God’s medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it." - Henry Ward Beecher Laughter may be the best medicine, but apparently it is not the best prescription for a property tax exemption.  The Indiana Board of Tax Review denied an exemption for property used to promote "mirth" … [Read more...]

Tangle over the Tango: Dance & Gymnastics School owned by S Corporation and leased to non-profit found 100% exempt from property tax.

Property tax appeals often feel like a dance between the taxpayer and assessor, and in a January 2012 decision the parties went toe-to-toe over whether a dance and gymnastics studio qualified for a 100% exemption.  In Herrick Investments, Inc. v. Marion County Assessor, Petition No. 49-500-08-2-8-00001 (Ind. … [Read more...]

Indiana Board of Tax Review relies on listing prices for industrial facility to determine its property tax value

In property tax appeals, the reviewing body frequently faces a "battle of the experts" (usually appraisers).  In 1 General Street, LLC v. Cass County Assessor, Pet. Nos. 09-010-09-1-3-00120 et al. (Jan. 31, 2012) (March 1, 2009 and 2010 assessment dates), the Indiana Board of Tax … [Read more...]

State Tax Developments for Energy & Resources, May 2012

See this update,, from my colleague Benjamin A. Blair: State tax laws are constantly in flux, particularly for taxpayers in the energy and resources industries. From the taxability of extraction equipment to revamped energy tax credits, these changes have wide-reaching … [Read more...]

Taxpayer wins battle of dueling dates – Indiana Board of Tax Review finds that date on property tax bill notice (and not the unsworn testimony of deputy treasurer) supports ruling that appeal was timely filed

Regardless of tax type, appeal deadlines are important.  A taxpayer must meet its appeal deadline or risk losing the right to challenge an assessment.  But what happens when the "trigger date" for the appeal deadline is in dispute?  A newly issued decision from the Indiana Board of … [Read more...]

“Bad Advice from my CPA” defense does not work to abate 10% penalty against Sales Tax Delinquency applied by Indiana Department of Revenue

This weekend I came across an article by Robert W. Wood, contributor to Forbes, titled "In a Nation of Computerization and Robotics, Should TurboTax Defense Be Respected?"  See  The article addresses two cases (one involving then-nominated-but-not-yet-confirmed Treasury Secretary … [Read more...]